top of page

How To Prevent Back Pain After Hours On The Couch

So here we are, nearly 2 weeks into our quarantine or self isolation. If you're reading this hopefully you are still feeling health, and maybe starting to get a little restless (I for sure am). One of the reasons I keep getting so restless is because I live in a small apartment and there isn't much room to move around. So I keep finding myself sitting on the couch.

Don't get me wrong, the couch is comfortable, but I am really a get up and go kind of person and all of this time just hanging out is getting me nervous.

I have a history of low back pain, but I know that it always feels better when I can get a lot of exercise and stay strong. I also know that my back flares up when I get lazy and sedentary. I don't think I am so special that I am the only one who goes through the same thing. In fact, as a physical therapist I hear the same sentence over and over and over and over day in and day out while I work with patients.

So If you find yourself in a position where you're working from home at a make shift desk, spending hours and hours on the couch glaring at your computer, or you finished "tiger king" and can't find another series on netflix to start it might be time to start working on yourself.

Here is a list of # things that you can do to get ahead of your back pain:

1. Go for a walk

Getting outside and moving your legs will help to pump blood through the body. It will help you to release some endorphins so that you feel better mentally and physically. Getting a change of scenery and breathing some fresh air is a great way to decrease stress and clear your mind of all of the craziness that is going on right now. Almost everyone has a smart watch that tracks their steps at this point. Use this time as a way to get that number up, Set a goal and keep yourself accountable.

2. Meditate

Back pain has a really large psychological aspect that people rarely think about. Generally speaking, when people are under larger amounts of stress the amplitude of their back pain will be larger as well.

Meditation is excellent for a couple of reasons. First, it helps you get in tune with your breathing. This can help you get out of that "fight or flight" state that your body is constantly fighting when you are stressed. Second, With mindful breathing you will be forced to breathe deeper. This means that your ribs and upper back will move more than normal. This is super important if you have back pain because a stiff upper back means that your lower back will have to do double duty and move for the upper back and the lower back. Finally, It will help you clear your mind and prevent you from focusing on all of the bad things that may be happening in the world.

3. Stretch

I am not saying that stretching is the best thing for you to do if your back is hurting. In fact, I often recommend that people with back pain do not stretch their hamstrings (If you want to chat about that more in depth please send me an E-mail and I'd be happy to explain why!).